Review: Oracle Application Express 3.2 – The Essentials and More

For the past few months I’ve been working together with Marcel van der Plas on a new book that will cover APEX 4.0. But the Application Express 3.2 community is still very much alive.
In May of this year the authors Arie Geller and Matthew Lyon have published a book at Packt Publishing describing some (or most) of the essential features of APEX 3.2. Since I am writing for the same publisher, I have been asked to review the book and give my opinion.

After reading the book description on the internet and on the cover, I was expecting a book that would introduce the reader softly into the world of developing web applications with APEX. So I did what I usually do with a new tech book; I opened it at a random page and start browsing it for a while.

To my big surprise, it scared the living daylights out of me!

Instead of reading the usual descriptions of APEX features that I’ve learned to know in the past few years, I found pages and pages full of stuff I didn’t know! Was there so much that I could still learn? After so many projects, posting blogs, writing my book, could it be that APEX holds many more secrets?

The answer to that would be simply yes. This book taught me new ways of working with APEX. But how did they do that?

From the beginning of the book, the authors are comfortable in mixing the basics with many advanced features. They are not afraid to describe a simple task as creating a new item with an example of javascript calls.
But this is also a bit of a problem with a part of the book. Because the authors have tried to tell -everything- there is to know about APEX, they had to make compromises in how to describe the different aspects. This often results in quickly stepping over the more simple descriptions and start on the advanced bits. Because of this the book looks not as suitable for beginning developers as I would expect.
But don’t let this scare away the developers just starting with Application Express, the book is in fact suited for beginners and advanced users alike. If you can read past the bits that aren’t up your alley, there are many gems to be found for any developer.

Arie and Matthew have described a huge number of subjects in the book. They not only covered the programming side of APEX, but also the server architecture and configuration of the APEX environment.
The subject that immediately drew my attention is Globalization and Localization. Since I’ve had experience in that field, I read this chapter with extra interest. As a bonus Arie explained a great deal about creating right-to-left applications in the next chapter. This is his area of expertise and you can tell by the chapter. A very thorough description, with smart solutions for every developer that needs to make his or her application available for right-to-left reading users.

It’s impossible to describe all chapters of the book, simply because there is so much in the book. The 24 chapters will lead you through all parts of Application Express 3.2 and guide you in building applications and configuring the building environment. I recommend this book as a good read for anyone that is working with or is thinking of working with Application Express.

If this review made you curious about “Oracle Application Express 3.2 – The Essentials and More”. You can buy the book directly at the website of Packt as a hard-copy or eBook.

“Oracle Application Express 3.2 – The Essentials and More” book published

Last week a new APEX book was published. It was written by Arie Geller and Matthew Lyon. It’s on the current version of APEX and covers basic and advanced features of Application Express 3.2.

I will post a review somewhere in the coming weeks, but since the publisher is the same that will be bringing out my own APEX 4.0 book later this year, I wanted to let you know that this is out there. You can find more information at the website of
Packt Publishing